Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


Why can't I sing in tune?

Related threads:
Solo Unaccompanied Singing and Songs (143)
Whiskey voice - what is it? (34)
How To Sing With Power? (23)
Singing, can it be taught? (16)
Perfect singers (108)
Singing thru the tears- how? (87)
Can anyone learn to sing (168)
Vocal techniques (16)
Exactly what's a true contralto? (67)
Singing: Exercises to improve high notes (47)
Is the voice an instrument? (56)
Help: singing unintended Vibrato/ Control (19)
do I need a vibrator? (66)
Speech Level Singing (42)
How are Soprano and Tenor Defined? (29)
Help: How can you tell which voice you've got (83)
Tuners for VOICE not Instruments (33)
Why We Sing, Part II (90)
The Mouse that Roared (Finding Your Voice) (25)
singers: who do you emulate and why? (65)
Breath Control While Singing (44)
Threads on the Singing Voice (36)
Improving voice without lessons (43)
What type of voice? (37)
how can I improve breath control (26)
Info on voice ranges (21)
fellow sean-nos singers? (45)
Unaccompanied Singing - How & Why! (89)
Singing - Alexander Technique (19)
how do you prepare to sing? (54)
What's a 'good voice'? (93)
Is that really you? (64)
Help, singing in noisy environments (41)
voice quality? (49)
Singing in Scenic Outdoors (33)
Does it get easier??? (singing) (50)
spectrograph - voice analysis (14)
Vocal training resouces? (11)
Singing in a dome (39)
How versatile should your voice be ? (20)
Gender and the soprano voice (79)
What is singing? (40)
Current Thread on the Singing Voice (5)
Song suggestions for higher lyric voice (9)
Vocal Instruction for Singers (2)
Learn to sing harmony: Good instruction tapes (4)
voice range - how to extend it (please) (14)
Vocal embellishment - guidelines? (31)


Doctor John 09 Jan 01 - 04:34 PM
Wesley S 09 Jan 01 - 04:42 PM
mousethief 09 Jan 01 - 04:47 PM
Doctor John 09 Jan 01 - 04:49 PM
mousethief 09 Jan 01 - 04:53 PM
Ebbie 09 Jan 01 - 04:56 PM
Doctor John 09 Jan 01 - 04:56 PM
Allan C. 09 Jan 01 - 05:16 PM
Greyeyes 09 Jan 01 - 05:43 PM
sophocleese 09 Jan 01 - 06:01 PM
Jeri 09 Jan 01 - 06:13 PM
Matt_R 09 Jan 01 - 06:22 PM
NightWing 09 Jan 01 - 06:43 PM
Bill D 09 Jan 01 - 07:03 PM
radriano 09 Jan 01 - 07:36 PM
Tinker 09 Jan 01 - 08:10 PM
Max 09 Jan 01 - 09:40 PM
Sarah2 09 Jan 01 - 09:47 PM
Allan C. 09 Jan 01 - 09:47 PM
paddymac 09 Jan 01 - 10:37 PM
Sorcha 09 Jan 01 - 11:08 PM
Alice 10 Jan 01 - 12:30 AM
Barbara 10 Jan 01 - 01:53 AM
Joe Offer 10 Jan 01 - 02:33 AM
Extra Stout 10 Jan 01 - 03:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 Jan 01 - 03:59 AM
Grab 10 Jan 01 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 10 Jan 01 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Jan 01 - 09:56 AM
radriano 10 Jan 01 - 10:55 AM
Pseudolus 10 Jan 01 - 10:56 AM
sophocleese 10 Jan 01 - 03:16 PM
Rizla the Green 10 Jan 01 - 06:27 PM
mousethief 10 Jan 01 - 06:34 PM
Burke 10 Jan 01 - 06:40 PM
little john cameron 10 Jan 01 - 08:11 PM
ddw 10 Jan 01 - 11:28 PM
Peg 10 Jan 01 - 11:55 PM
blt 11 Jan 01 - 12:24 AM
Extra Stout 11 Jan 01 - 12:36 AM
mousethief 09 Mar 01 - 02:14 PM
CamiSu 09 Mar 01 - 04:23 PM
tiptoetulips 09 Mar 01 - 04:39 PM
GUEST 09 Mar 01 - 06:15 PM
Kim Hughes 09 Mar 01 - 07:20 PM
Don Firth 09 Mar 01 - 07:40 PM
Marion 09 Mar 01 - 09:08 PM
DancingMom 09 Mar 01 - 10:31 PM
Mr Red 11 Mar 01 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Mary Mcdowell 31 Jul 04 - 11:33 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Doctor John
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:34 PM

Just why can't I sing in tune after half a century of trying. I can "hear" tunes in my head and even whistle them a bit; I can hear when my guitar or banjo goes out of tune but I just can't sing. Is there something in my brain that's no wired correctly or are my vocal cords just plain useless? Not just why but grateful for any tips on how to!
Thanks Dr John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:42 PM

Doctor - Believe me I'm no expert and I'm sure you'll get better advice then what I have to offer. But one thing I have found out is that the vocal cords are like any muscle. The more you excersize them the better they will respond. You can't expect to hit the notes correctly if you only crank up the voicebox every other week or so. The airconditioner in your car was invented so that you could roll up your window and sing along with your favorite tape. The more you use it the better you'll get { to a point }.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:47 PM

I'm interested in this topic. My poor wife can't carry a tune in a bucket. She starts in one key, just fine, but when she has to jump more than a second, she changes into a different key and keeps on from there. She wants to learn to sing but for the life of me I can't figure out how to teach her to carry a tune (and we can't afford professional training at this point). Looking forward to seeing some wisdom dispensed here!

alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Doctor John
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:49 PM

What really beats me is how people manage to sing in church. They immediately sing a melody that they have never heared before, that is, they must hear the very start of a note and then reproduce it at once. Even more amazing to me is that this is done to an organ which must produce the most complex and "impure" sounds and certainly not an instrument to pitch your voice to. The must "unfolkie" of instruments, the organ!
Dr John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:53 PM

And the weird thing is I couldn't tell you how I does it, Dr. J.

I just does it.

Which drives my wife crazy!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:56 PM

A local luthier told me that he has successfully taught a number of 'tone deaf' people how to do it. He begins with a single note that he has them match. They are invariably, he says, aware of when they've gone too far. He says that a few times of correcting it themselves is often all it takes.

He thinks the reason that some people can't carry a tune is that they haven't learned to 'listen', that they're not aware that there is a physical note to match. He says that the people who don't have a problem simply instinctively listened. Other people have to learn it consciously.

Don't know if this helps?

Ebbie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Doctor John
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 04:56 PM

Mousethief, I'm glad there's more than me out there as both my wife and daughter can sing. The curious thing is if someone is "trained" to me they start to sound unnatural and strained. Is it possible to teach someone to sing in a "natural" way? By that I mean a pleasant, folky, unaffected, in tune voice - Dave Burland, Cisco Houston, Isla StClair. However I wouldn't wish to sing like the latter!
Dr John
Wish my wife could though!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Allan C.
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 05:16 PM

DJ, I suspect that you can probably do a passable job with something like "Happy Birthday" or a Mother Goose song. I have found that most people who claim to not be able to sing in tune can do reasonably well with VERY familiar songs. This relates to what has been said above. They have unconsciously HEARD these songs over the years. The other songs they try are usually songs they have not truly HEARD.

Training your voice to reproduce the notes takes quite a bit of practice. Probably the best way is to SLOW DOWN a song A LOT. Sing a single song note by note. This will give you plenty of time between notes to think about the next one and to convince your throat to produce it. Once you feel as though you have captured the notes, try singing the song a little bit faster. With time, your voice will learn to do as it is told.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Greyeyes
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 05:43 PM

There is also the element of hearing the tune as you sing it, not just recognising the tune you are trying to sing (if you see what I mean). This is why so many unacompanied folkies sing with a finger in the ear. Even though everyone thinks it looks risible, it helps you hear the sound that you are actually producing, and thus makes it more likely that you will hit the right note.

I have experimented taping myself singing with and without a finger in the ear (in private) and there is definitely a difference. I always have a finger in my ear on Paltalk, although anyone who's heard me would probably claim it is no improvement.

What Wesley says about singing in the car to exercise the vocal muscles is very true. Also try taping and listening to what you sing, what you hear as you are singing it is very different from what everyone else hears.

Also be uninhibited, practice alone if necessary, and don't be afraid of making a fool of yourself.

A song well sung is one of the great joys of the world, it's worth persevering.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: sophocleese
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 06:01 PM

Lots of great advice here. I'll go along with the idea that you need to slow down and consciously match voice to pitch one note at a time in a song for awhile. The nice thing is that as you do it you get better and faster at it. You could then slowly start practicing scales and then arpeggios and other larger, trickier intervals. As a child I could recognize tunes very quickly but tended to sing out of tune. A lot of practice with singing while playing the tune on the piano made my voice truer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 06:13 PM

I read a really good article by Pete Seeger in a SingOut! reprint.

It said something about "tone deaf" people not being able to sing on pitch because they never learned what it feels like to do so. There were a lot of these folks who were told to match a note someone else was singing, and they weren't sure to go up or down, and couldn't really tell when they weren't quite right. The thing that worked was having the learner sing a note, and having another person match that one, just so the learner could hear and feel what it was like to be on pitch.

If you can hear when something is or isn't in tune, it's not your hearing or your brain that's the problem. It sounds like you need to practice getting your vocal cords to produce the sounds you want.

If it makes you feel any better, I sometimes hear a tune in my head and when I try to sing it, it's all over the place. I slow down and very deliberately match each note I'm hearing in my head - in the same key. Once I do that a couple of times through, I've got the tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Matt_R
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 06:22 PM

I always sing on key. ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: NightWing
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 06:43 PM

     a   y         o     y   t  
I l s s g ke o
wa in n , o

BB,
NightWing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 07:03 PM

I know a couple of people who really have trouble with this, and it almost seems like dyslexia...instead of left & right, they can't seem tell when to go up or down...they can't 'point' their voice the right way...others just don't hear what the right note should be.

My problem is different.. I can tell YOU when a note is right, but I can not always reproduce it in a song...I suspect MY problem is simply practice and 'feeling' the sequences until muscle memory gets me there...and often, it is just that I have not processed the song in my head enough to be aware of drops or rises...it is simply WORK...I can do it if I practice..(singing in the shower really helps with the acoustics right in your ear!!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: radriano
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 07:36 PM

There are little tricks you can use to find intervals. For example, a 6th interval seems complicated but it's the same interval as the in the first two notes of "Here Comes the Bride" which everyone can do because it's so familiar.

I also cannot overemphazise constant practice as was noted earlier in this thread. Tape record yourself singing and you'll surely hear where you are off pitch. If possible, practice intervals with a piano. If a piano isn't available to you just practice singing along with a recording but be careful not to choose something that's out of your singing range.

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Tinker
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 08:10 PM

Mousetheif, I spent a very long time jumping keys wiley nillly through out a song. I'm most comfortable singing in 2nd alto or 1st tenor,and would simply flip to sing with the guys if it got to high.

I was able to work with a voice teacher this year and have learnt a few really simple things that really help. 1) Breathe, deep and from the diaphram a strong supported tone is more likely to ring true 2) Keep it familiar enough to relax, tense muscles effect placement too, yawning is a good thing. 3) Practice something that makes you smile

Tinker


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Max
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 09:40 PM

This is Marymac. I certainly identify with what you other "vocally challenged" people have said. I've been taking lessons these last coupla months, so hopefully will see some improvement soon!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Sarah2
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 09:47 PM

Doctor, this may sound silly, but how do you sound to yourself in the shower? It happens to be a great place to practice singing. First, there's no one there (usually!) to make faces when you hit a wrong note. Second, the White Noise background of a shower can let you concentrate on your voice.

Something to remember is that it's difficult to sing along with someone who's not in your own range. If you're a baritone, find a baritone to sing along with, not a tenor, and you'd probably do better singing the lower line with women in the alto range than with sopranos. If you're a tenor or bass, then you're probably going to find it easier to hit the notes singing along with a tenor or bass or soprano. Straining to hit a note above or below your abilities doesn't help.

But most of all, remember that the injunction is to make a joyful noise: Nowhere does it say you have to be able to carry a tune or stay on key.

Sarah


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Allan C.
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 09:47 PM

Improvement has already been notable, Marymac.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: paddymac
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 10:37 PM

radriano - The first two notes in "Here Comes The Bride" span a 4th interval. The first three notes in "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" are a 1 - 3 - 5 sequence. A 6th interval is found in the first two notes of the chorus to "A Nation Once Again".

What are some other songs singers use to "plant" specific intervals in their minds? There must surely be many more.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Jan 01 - 11:08 PM

From the "deaf" lady--it is also possible that there is some hearing loss. I can't stay on pitch, or key either one, but it has to do with the fact that what I hear (in my own ears) is not what other people hear when I sing. Get a hearing test.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Alice
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 12:30 AM

I'm with Sarah, practice in the shower! (Sarah, this is an old joke about me here, going back to a thread about how people memorize lyrics. I have pages and pages taped to my shower walls in layers - really.)

Practice slowly, practice scales and intervals, tape record yourself and listen to the play back, practice every day (in the shower, if you'd like).

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Barbara
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 01:53 AM

Learning to sing in the right octave can be really hard for beginners. Boys wipe out trying to match the girls' pitch, and vice versa. I remember hearing a man try to sing with a high piano part, and instead of getting an octave lower, he got a fifth -- this is the next easiest interval to find, because it has fewer vibrations than any except the octave.
When you are learning, you really need feedback. Picking out melodies by ear will help you visualize how a tune goes. Some of those electronic tuners will let you sing at them and tell you where you are and where you are going. But they're awfully picky about what's on pitch. (I've never been able to sing a note at mine that it thought was exactly in tune).
Showers are also good for their resonance, and the hot steamy water helps your throat and vocal cords relax. One trick I like that works in a lot of showers is to slide up and down the scale like a siren until I find the notes that are suddenly much louder than the rest. These are in the resonant frequency of the shower space, and if you sing in that key, you can sound like you're using an amplifier. Making like a siren is a good warmup, too.
Blessings
Barbara


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 02:33 AM

I think many of the best hymns almost "sing themselves" - they have intervals between notes that are not too unusual, and the tempos are usually pretty standard. In a typical church anthem, the first, second, and fourth lines are the same; and the third line is a variation related to the other three - so, basically, you learn the tune of a hymn by learning just one line.
We Catholics have been trying to develop a completely new catalog of music since we got rid of the Latin Mass in the mid-1960's. We are supposed ot encourage congragational singing, but a lot of our new hymns are too difficult for a congregation to learn (and they're often beyond the capabilities of our choirs).

We men in our church choir usually stand very close together when we sing, and we listen closely to each other and try to "lock on" to each other's voices. More often than not, the four of us sing with one voice, and it's wonderful. Our women are all afraid they won't be heard, so they fight each other to get close to the microphones. I tried to defeat that by using only one microphone for eight people gathered in a semicircle, but the women wouldn't buy that. While I was on vacation last fall, they dragged out another two microphones. So now I moved over to the women's side of the choir (and the choir director, a woman, sings with the men). I don't enjoy it as much as I do singing with the men, but it does seem to give the women confidence.

I think the best way to learn to sing in tune is to sing with other people in a circle, when everybody can hear each other well - listen for the sound of the blend of the voices, not just for the sound of your own voice (that's the idea I can't get across to our women - they want to hear themselves). I also find it's easier to sing in tune if you sing on the soft side - but it you sing TOO softly, you'll be like a plane that flies too slow and you'll stall and crash. If you sing too loud, you're sure to go off key.

Since I don't play an instrument, I often sing a cappella and often don't start songs on key the first try. If people are singing with me and try to correct things, it usually ends in disaster. You're better to stop and start over again - but sometimes people won't let you do that.

-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Extra Stout
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:48 AM

Hi,Doc. If you record yourself to practice, be careful not to just repeat and reinforce things that didn't work before, same with singing in the car. It protects others (its where I practice tin whistle, but not while driving) but if you can't sing in tune, practicing out of tune sure won't help. About a hundred years ago,not long after my voice changed, I took private voice lessons for a few weeks. A teacher was just what I needed to explain the mechanics of voice production and the rudiments of how to control my strange, new instrument. In college in the 70's I had a genius choir director ( Robert Porter, tall ,Abe Lincoln beard, BMW motorcycle) and every class session was as good as a private lesson. Better,really, I didn't have to make all the mistakes myself. Maybe you could find a situation like that in a church. The main point of church music,of course, is praise rather than technical skill, but if you find the right group to sing with, along with the liturgical benefits, you might find some valuable coaching, and a feedback and support group as well. On the other hand, maybe you just plain can't sing and should take up the harmonica. Seriously though, I think that almost any one can be taught to sing,except my mother-in-law, and just because you don't sing on key instinctively is no reason to give up. Good luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:59 AM

If the worse comes to the worse, come to Fleetwood during the Fylde festival and go in for the worse singer in the world contest!

Seriously, having listned to (and nearly entered!) above mentioned contest and then followed the fortunes of one or two of the winners I can assure you that practice realy does help. Goes like this - 'Bad' singer wins. Bad singer gets invited on lots of shows. Bad singer sings a lot. Bad singer gets good. Good singer can no longer win contest!

There have been one or two notable exceptions but generaly speaking real bad singers are very rare - it is only inexperience and lack of confidence masking a good voice.

Then again, if it is realy bad, you can make a fortune anyway;-)

Good luck and keep warbling

Dave the Gnome


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Grab
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 09:40 AM

If you're not completely sure with the guitar/banjo backing, you'll concentrate more on playing that than on listening to your singing. Personally I can't play "Donald where's your trousers" and sing it at the same time bcos in spite of the guitar part being simple (2 chords) the speed we play it at requires more processing than I can spare from the singing and remembering the words.

Grab.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 09:55 AM

Doc, I seem to share your "problem". I think I'm singing OK (sounds OK from where I am): it is the audience (2 stray dogs, usually) that run off howling. I don't let it bother me and I've learned to dodge the missiles.
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 09:56 AM

This is a great thread -- so many useful insights.

Here's a new tip from a Ph.D in choral music: breathe in, as if you were sucking air in through a straw. This sends air down deep, right "to your diaphragm." Now reverse this flow to sing. Ta da!

A lot of people who assume they always sing in tune do not, actually. They get off, just like everybody else. So don't get overconfident, you "stars."

Singing can sound bad, not because one is out of tune, but because something (such as running out of breath) caused the tone of the voice to change. In other words, one accidentally went from chest to head tone, or from nasal to resonant. People don't like to listen to this. I think not running out of breath helps you avoid this problem. Also, listening carefully to yourself.

Cupping your hand around an ear helps you hear what you are actually singing, and it doesn't look as silly as sticking your finger in. I do this in church (inconspicuously, I hope) when the instruments prevent me from hearing myself.

Another piece of good advice I got - join a regular choral group.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: radriano
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 10:55 AM

Thanks paddymac! I had a feeling I might have been wrong about that interval just after I posted it. Sometimes I'm just too quick with that submit button.

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Pseudolus
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 10:56 AM

I always sing in tune, except when I don't. Sometimes it's being able to hear, out of breath, or one too many lagers! It's always something. But the key is, whatever you do, don't stop singing!!!! Practice doesn't always make perfect but it does make better and it is fun!

Frank

P.S. I've also found that, the more I drink, the more people lose their ability to judge my abilities....nag, nag, nag.....but I play on....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: sophocleese
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 03:16 PM

Another trick for being able to hear yourself sing if you're holding sheet music or a lyric sheet is to bring it up almost in front of your face. You get some of the soubnd bouncing dircetly off the page instead of going out to the walls or whatever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Rizla the Green
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:27 PM

Where I always fail in my singing is that I listen to a song on record, like a four voice harmony, then try to sing it on my own. I never know which of the voices is the true melody and I am trying to sing all four parts myself. The end result sounds terrible. Oh how my wife and children suffer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: mousethief
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:34 PM

Oh the humanity!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Burke
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 06:40 PM

Dr. John, I think you're giving those church singers a lot more credit than due. There are a very few people who can sight sing right from the page.

What usually happens, is that the organist plays part or all of the hymn through before everyone starts singing. If they play all the way through, everyone had a chance to hear the tune & then join in on the words. If they only play part, it serves as a cue for a hymn that the congregation presumably knows. Our old organist used to play all hymns, all the way through & if we knew it, that was too much. Our current organist plays the 1st & last lines. Sometimes it's not enough, and you can tell by how well the congregation does not sing. I've reminded him that at times it would be nice to have the whole hymn played.

In addition if there's a choir, they've probably sung the hymns in rehearsal so they can sing it out right from the start. Do not be intimidated by them, they are there to help. They also get a chance to ask to go over a passage they did not get right the first time, you don't.

In an ideal situation the majority of hymns on any given Sunday will be pretty familiar with only 1 or 2 new or done infrequently & so unfamiliar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: little john cameron
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 08:11 PM

It didnae seems tae bother Dr S Connors. ljc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: ddw
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 11:28 PM

This may sound trite, but a friend who was a voice coach once told me a good song to practise on is "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music. She said it has both close and long intervals and scales, so it's very good for developing the musculature to hit the notes you want. Never liked the song much myself, but her argument seems to make sense.

I think Rizla's point is well taken, too. If you try to learn by singing along with recordings, pick ones by single vocalists to avoid the "muddiness" of group singing.

Also, I'd advise picking songs at first that don't have too much range and ? if possible ? ones to sing with that are within your vocal range. Trying to sing along with someone who goes out of your range forces you to switch to a lower or higher octave to sing the "same" note. As someone mentioned before, most people will switch to the 5th interval, which will put you into a different key. My wife has a lovely voice, but sometimes she does that ? runs me nuts.

Something else that occurred to me that nobody's mentioned is that often people who think they're singing off key are really singing out of time ? i.e., they're hitting the right notes, just doing it too late or holding it too long. Obviously that's going to clash with what others are doing and it sounds off-key even when that's not really the problem. Not saying that's what you're doing, but it's something to listen for and I'm sure you can pick up on it if it is.

Lots of other good advice above but the best is DON'T STOP SINGING.

cheers,

david


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Peg
Date: 10 Jan 01 - 11:55 PM

Perfect sixth: My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean

Minor seventh: There's a Place for Us (West Side Story)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: blt
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 12:24 AM

My problem is that I bellow when I sing. I also run out of air from nervousness, but that's a problem that fixes itself after a few moments, most of the time. I can really tell when my vocal cords are relaxed and/or warmed up. Sometimes, I practice scat singing in the car, just sounding vocables, up and down, or any which way. I also always try to warm up my voice before I sing very much, which means some slow rising and falling notes. My loud voice is a blessing in some ways but I end up sacrificing pitch for volume, which isn't what I want. I've always had a pretty good ear, if I do say so myself, which has allowed me to hear harmonies very easily. This makes singing in song circles fun, because I can jump up or down into a harmony, but if the melody singer is picky, I end up doing more harm than good. However, no one has ever really complained, they just glare in my direction.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Extra Stout
Date: 11 Jan 01 - 12:36 AM

The problem may not lie within, Dr. John. My band has done extensive, though unpublished, research which proves that the more the audience drinks, the better we sound.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: mousethief
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 02:14 PM

From CNN.COM:

Can't carry a tune? Blame your genes

March 9, 2001 Web posted at: 11:59 AM EST (1659 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- If you can't carry a tune -- or even recognize one -- it's probably not your fault. A new study released Thursday indicates tune-deafness is mostly in your genes.

This finding could potentially have implications for people with speech disorders related to how they perceive various pitches, according to National Institutes of Health researcher Dennis Drayna.

In terms of how good people are at recognizing tunes, "it looks like it's mostly genetic," Drayna said in a telephone interview.

To determine this, Drayna and his fellow researchers tested hundreds of pairs of twins, all women. About half of the twin pairs were fraternal and half identical, so that if a trait was purely genetic, the identical twins would be expected to both have it.

The test involved first testing their hearing for any impairment, and then playing snatches of 26 easily recognizable melodies from "The Star Spangled Banner" to "Silent Night" to "The Marseillaise". Some of the tunes were correctly played, others were distorted, and the twins were asked to determine which was which.

As expected, the identical twins all performed the same as their respective twins, whether their tune recognition was good or poor. The fraternal twins, whose genetic makeup was not exactly similar, did not correlate quite so well.

Most people did fairly well, about 15 percent made some modest errors, and about 5 percent were truly tune-deaf, Drayna said. That meant that the really terrible ones often did worse on the test than they would have done by simply guessing.

The study found that the ability to recognize tunes is between 70 percent and 80 percent genetic, with the rest attributable to environmental factors, such as the person's musical experience.

This was somewhat surprising, Drayna said, since many educators believe this trait can be changed by training. In the case of the absolutely tune-deaf, there probably is not much hope for this, he said.

"If you have terrible pitch recognition, you're going to have it regardless," Drayna said.

The study also found that hearing deficits did not necessarily change a person's ability to recognize tunes; much of pitch-recognition takes place in the brain.

"This does have some clinical implications in speech and language pathology, because perception of speech is very dependent on pitch," Drayna said.

"People with severe deficits in pitch recognition could have problems with speech and there is some anecdotal evidence that that is what's going on in certain kinds of speech disorders," he said.

He said his findings about pitch recognition might have implications for some classes of speech problems.

This research was published in the journal Science.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: CamiSu
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 04:23 PM

Alex,

Loved that last! My sister in law is tune deaf, and her father who had pleasant tone, had lost the bushel basket he'd been given to carry the tune in. It was truly awful. Her mom thought he was wonderful so I guess Brenda didn't have a chance.

I had a friend who was a reasonably good tenor, who told me how he learned to sing. He got a drone box that was in his vocal range and learned to match the notes it made--both of them. He truly hadn't known where his voice was before this, and had always tried to learn from people whose range was above or below his. But I would say, judging from him, that if you can hear the pitch you can learn to match it.

I think that not being able to stay on key may involve memory more than pitch match. My husband can sing quite nicely as long as he has an accompaniment or another singer there. But if he tries to go on his own, he's hopeless. Even pretty good singers can get lost when trying to repeat 3 unrelated tones.

BTW I use the NBC Aural logo for a sixth.

CamiSu who is usualy CLOSE!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: tiptoetulips
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 04:39 PM

I saw that study on the news this morning. I find it interesting since all of the women on my mom's side of the family have gorgeous voices and flawless pitch. My identical twin sister and I on the other hand pale miserably by comparison.

I can sympathize because I too can hear tunes flawlessly in my head, but my voice just doesn't translate it the same way I "hear" it. I agree with the idea that singing practice can help. I'm surprising my sister by learning a bunch of Irish folk tunes to sing to her baby (she's due in the fall so I have plenty of time).

I find that I am having to listen to songs over and over and over and then sing a line over and over and over until I get it down. And even then I think I'm varying the tune ever so slightly. But that's what's great about Irish folk tunes. So many variations, nobody's going to be able to tell if I screw up a note here or there as long as it blends into the melody.

I also wonder if it's a confidence issue. I heard all these beautiful female voices around me growing up and always felt I could never sing that well. Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophesy. I'm also learning these songs to sing them around the house in hopes that my sons will be encouraged to try out their voices if they get used to having self-made music around. Maybe one or both will be lucky enough to inherit perfect pitch from their grandma.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 06:15 PM

See also"Inherited musical ability" thread, today


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Kim Hughes
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 07:20 PM

I can't off hand recall the author, but there's an excellent book called "The Natural Voice" that might be helpful for you--

best, Kim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 07:40 PM

Doc, don't give up!

Singing on pitch is a bit like shooting from the hip. When you first try it, you miss a lot. The more you do it, the more accurate you get.

Don't be afraid of voice teachers. There seems to be a misconception, particularly among folksingers, that if you take voice lessons, you'll suddenly start sounding like Luciano Pavarotti or Bryn Terfel or Cecilia Bartolli or Anna Moffo. Not so! Many an aspiring opera singer wishes it was that easy!!

A good voice teacher can help you with pitch accuracy. And a good voice teacher can teach you correct vocal technique -- which is to say, how to sing naturally. This includes such things as breath control and relaxing your vocal apparatus so you can sing without strain. Strain can lead to such things as hoarseness and laryngitis and eventually wreck your voice.

I've had a lot of voice lessons, and if the misconception were true, I should sound like Ezio Pinza. My voice is classed as "bass-baritone," as his is. My voice is strong and resonant, and still in good shape for my age, thank heavens -- but since I don't try to sound operatic, I don't.

Think about taking some voice lessons or getting some vocal coaching. Believe me, it can't hurt.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Marion
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 09:08 PM

There is a perfect fifth between "twinkle" and "twinkle".

(I make use of this fact in tuning my fiddle.)

Marion


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: DancingMom
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 10:31 PM

Practice, practice, practice.Sing for the love of it.I found it helpful to sing in a large choir, (Not miked) with many voices in each section. Find the range most comfortable for you and sing in that section. I found the best training came from singing the harmony parts (alto and tenor)which often have fewer interval leaps, more repeating notes and step-wise movement. Accentuate the positive- a lovely tone, for example. Don't stop!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: Mr Red
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 06:19 AM

Opera singers often are taught to visualise a note as an angle. Base notes at -45 degrees (say) middle C level, and higher notes upwards. Each note has an unique angle. It gives a nebulous concept like "the note" another, more tangible, handle. Maybe they even point their eyes in the right direction.

It probably has to be taught but there must be books on the subject. Those pitch pipes will come in handy. This will help people keep the the same key because they will soon notice the average angle has shifted. But it is all down to practice, to build up the muscle memory. Mr Atlas (after all) was a 9 stone (126 pound) weakling until the "sand in the face incedent".

Tape recording, and singing in private (car journeys)helped me, though I did get there fairly quickly. Breathing is important because if there is not enough air to finish the phrase you tend to alter the pressure which alters the control necessary over the note, so it can change. I was taught by Bill Long to breath from the diaphragm, not the ribs. (Bill runs Chipping Norton FC 2nd Mon Fox Hotel).

Some people actually see notes as colours - a condition called synasthesia I think. Hope this strikes the right note. **groan**


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Why can't I sing in tune?
From: GUEST,Mary Mcdowell
Date: 31 Jul 04 - 11:33 AM

i can often sing in tune... when i practise with the guitar alone. however everytime i sing with a band(loud one), i can hardly hear my own voice and therefore end up singing just the correct lyrics. what should i do?? are there any special instruments, like a small earphone which allows myself to hear my own voice during performance? please help....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 November 5:56 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.